Google's brand soars, but I don't recall them advertising

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Is Google really the “highest regarded brand in the UK” as the FT writes? Apparently it’s overtaken the BBC, Microsoft and British Airways to become the most highly regarded business brand.

“It’s times like this that investment in building engagement, trust and loyalty with a customer base really gets the successful businesses through difficulties caused by wider economic problems,” says Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Superbrands council. Superbrands warns sternly against cutting ad budgets to keep your brand going. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising showing that British companies had made their deepest cuts to advertising budgets for almost two years in the last three months of 2007. The table is compiled by surveying 1,500 professionals using a list of 1,300 brands.

I have two points to make.

Baloney:

This is whole ‘Superbrands’ way of thinking assumes Google ended up investing more in its ad budget than its product. As if Google spends a cent on marketing. Perhaps if British businesses spent more on their intrinsic offering than marketing they might be perceived better, and lauded online. Ever think about that?

Double Baloney:

The entire media industry knows – but never tells because they all want to be in the list – that Superbrands compiles its list then goes to the companies named and asks them if they want to pay to be in the list. If the firm says no, they don’t make the list. So given that a firm with a perfectly good brand might have been left out because they weren’t bothered about paying, the list is therefore meaningless. Superbrands business model only continues because the concept of ‘brand’ is so subjective in the first place.

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